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Do Not Lose the Capacity to Question

Man is, indeed, a born questioner. As children, we are generally full of questions and curiosity. Children are, thus, bubbling with energy and enthusiasm to know. As we grow
up, however, we begin to lose—thanks to our social conditioning—this capacity to question.

Curiosity begins to wane and through the various experiences that we undergo, we accumulate some ‘knowledge’ and assume that we know all. The more people advance in years, the more they seem to lose the capacity to question, and instead they develop an attitude of self-righteousness and complacence.

People become ‘satisfied’ with life and its possibilities, which is nothing but utter carelessness and laziness to undergo the hardships involved in seeking answers to higher and deeper issues of life. They become mechanical and insensitive.

But fortunately this insensitivity is not final and irreversible. Suffering and pain awaken man’s inner capacity to question. After many experiments and experiences, he stops blaming others and turns within. And this search for truth within is the core of religion.

It is asking questions about oneself from oneself. ‘Why do I suffer? How can I find a lasting solution to the problem of suffering and anguish? Is there a way?’ Such questions he raises and tries to find the answer. This means educating and disciplining the power of asking questions about the inner world of thoughts, feelings, and desires in which we live.

This begins with a question about what is ‘truth’.

There has to be a question first before one finds an answer to it. Even before one thinks of getting rid of the bondage, one must be aware that he is bound. He should question, ‘Am I free from bondage? Is there a way out?’ He should question.

Source Prabhuda Bharata April 2009 editorial